Does anyone having information on the state of NFS v3 and v4 support in Catalina? I have a question related to my configuration that follows.

I read at:


Apple’s support for NFS in this operating system is very immature at the moment and you have to expect a variety of different technical issues, including crashes of the system kernel. Depending on what NFS features you are planning to use, we strongly recommend to stay away from Catalina.

So far, I read this thread: Thread on NFS Support in Catalina

that NFS v2,v3 is supported as a server and NFS v2,v3,v4 is supported as a client. I'm curious if there was better support pre-Catalina and if something changed in Catalina.

I'm interested in serving a home directory to a VirtualBox instance of Debian Linux. This will allow me to share a single home directory with multiple Linux guest OSs.

My configuration is:

  1. On Mac edit /etc/exports

    /Users/x/unixhome -mapall=username -network -mask
  2. Restart nfs

    $ nfsd restart
  3. On Linux mount

    $ sudo mount -t nfs /mnt/tmp
    mount: /mnt/tmp: bad option; for several filesystems (e.g. nfs, cifs) you might need a /sbin/mount.<type> helper program.

    Any insight and use cases appreciated.

  4. Check that NFS is being served The port is open!

    $ telnet 2049
    Connected to
    Escape character is '^]'.

So why am I having trouble mounting from Linux? Is there any more debug I can do?


1 Answer 1


Do you have the NFS client utilities installed on the Linux system? The error message from your Linux system states that /sbin/mount.nfs isn't present, which suggests that the NFS client utilities are missing. On Debian/Ubuntu systems they're in package nfs-common - install that package and see if the mount then succeeds.

If you're all you're interested in is sharing a directory between your VirtualBox VM and the host there's no need to use NFS. If you install the VirtualBox guest additions you can share directories quite easily between host and guest.

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